Sunday, July 29, 2012

Amateur Review of a Really Good Book…

My friend and author @Pameloth (Pamela Fagan Hutchins) recently published several books. She and her husband @Trimon29 (Eric Hutchins) are a blended family living in Texas, but their roots extend from the Caribbean Islands all the way up to a remote lake in Maine. I ‘met’ them online a few years ago, and just recently was able to meet them in person. My wife, Bryce, and I met up with Pamela and Eric (along with their daughter and her beau) in NH as they were returning from some quality time in Maine. But this isn’t about that.
It is about one of Pamela’s books, “Love Gone Viral”, which I was fortunate enough to preview a few months ago. Yes, I am slow. No, it hasn’t taken me this long to read the book. In fact, I cruised through the book because it was that good. Why? Because Pamela has a way of teaching me something imagewithout making me feel like I just learned something. Her stories are personal, real, funny, honest, and thought provoking.
Woah. Did I just say that? Yes, yes I did. The book made me think.
The timing of me reading this book could not have been better: I am struggling with some things in my life now that I haven’t really faced before, and it is challenging parts of my brain and heart that I never thought I would have to investigate. While reading “Love Gone Viral”, I was able to take a step back from my own experiences and plunk myself down into the stories being told. (Mind you, I have never come across a partially submerged carcass, but…)
Pamela uses anecdotes from her own life to help explain ways that perhaps our lives could improve. One chapter is called “How Do Pukey Couples Do It”, and another is “In Which Eric Brings Me Something Back From India.” Both had me laughing and thinking about my life, my relationships, and how I can make them better. Throughout, the reader is asked to take some time to reflect on our own lives, how we do things now, and how we might do things differently to get better results.
While not quite a ‘self help’ book, I would call it a “help yourself” book (yes, I just made that up. I am a GENIUS! bit out there….). Pamela doesn’t come out and say, “in order to blah blah blah better you must do these three things while lighting a candle with your toes and blah blah flibbity flew.” Nope. If you are looking for that, this book isn’t for you. This is more of a “hey, this works for me, through trial and error, and well, perhaps it will work for you, too. if not, at least you’ve read some funny stories about my life and family.”
As you can likely tell, I don’t review books for a living. I don’t write for a living. I read perhaps 4 books per year, and all of them are non-fiction. THIS BOOK, however, was a GREAT read. I took notes, and have gone back to re-read sections a couple of times. (Especially the part where…..nah. I’m not going to tell you. You’ll have to read it yourself!).
Pamela has written several books, and all are available through Amazon. Click here to see this book, and be sure to check into her other works as well.
(yo, FCC…these opinions are my own.)
Thank you, Pamela and Eric!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

What would you do?

There is a race looming on my calendar that I have been eyeing since I crewed for Sarah Stanley last September. I met a bunch of people who have become fast ‘virtual’ friends, and we are looking forward to our paths crossing again this September 30th.

Yes, I am talking about the Vermont 50. An epic (BAHAHAHA….) race in and around the hills of south central Vermont (although not as dangerous as south central LA back in the early 90’s). The course is predominantly on unimproved roads, single track, horse trails, and some snowmobile trails. There are some miles on dirt roads, and only a handful of paved miles. I think that it is right up my alley, but I don’t really know that for sure. I hope to be able to know better by the evening of the 30th, and I’ll be certain to pass that along to you…maybe.

Here’s the glitch: one of my cousins is getting married on the Saturday of race weekend. Five hours away. In (I think) the afternoon. SO. that means we wouldn’t get home until after midnight, and then I’d have to be up again at 3:30 or so to get to the race site and be all ‘ready’ for the start. Adam and Steve, I think you know what I mean by that…(do either of them even know my blog exists?)

So I don’t know what to do. I haven’t registered for the race, but I really should do that like within the next two weeks. Unless of course we get the official invitation to the wedding and we decide to go. Then I won’t sign up. But if I sign up BEFORE we decide to go, then, well, I’ll be hard-pressed to kiss that entry fee good-bye. Know what I mean???

BAHAHAHA…but that’s a bit of dirty pool, eh? I couldn’t do that and sleep well at night (not that I do anyway). I have decided not to decide anything just yet.

Tracey and I talked about it, and I’m just going to train/run as if I WAS going to enter the race, that way I won’t be too far behind in terms of fitness. If we go to the wedding, well, at least I’ll have had good times running.

Make sense?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rare, work related request....

I am trying to improve the care we give our patients in our hospital. I think that the goal of improved patient care can ONLY be achieved through a base of improved EMPLOYEE care; either care they give themselves (we give ourselves) or through care that the facility can provide.
If anyone has a POOR patient care experience that you would like to share with ME (and only me, I SWEAR/PROMISE not to EVER use your name/pertinent information in my case profiles) I would love to read about them.
Please send an email to me at boutdrz at gmail dot com.
I am most interested in experiences related to nursing situations, but also welcome stories about the facility in general. I have no 'pull' in our physician area, but would be happy to share those anectotes with those who are willing to listen to me.

Thank you very much for your help, and again, I am professionally bound to confidentiality laws, which aren't nearly as strict as the rules i impose on myself regarding these issues.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

International Man of …

running! well, I am not running internationally, but I am joining an international group to help inspire OTHERS to run (as well as continue to motivate myself to keep running)!

Last week I received a tweet from my pal Dan in Glasgow, Scotland. He’s an Osteopath there, and works with us commoners as well as some top end athletes. On twitter, he can be followed here: @GlasgowOsteo. His tweet asked if I had heard about the 5x50Challenge, as they were looking for Regional Ambassadors to help with their program. I thought that it was worth looking into (not every day I get asked to do this sort of thing!), and look into it I did. After a few emails back and forth with the organizers, I learned that I am not qualified to be an Ambassador. They take this quite seriously, and Ambassadors need to be certified fitness instructors for legal reasons. My experience, enthusiasm, and $5000 payoff and boyish charm kicked in, and I was able to be rated as a “Fiver”. This means that I have a responsibility to recruit others to join the challenge as well as help manage groups and such. You’ll see me tweeting using the #5x50Challenge hashtag and mentioning @5x50Challenge.

I am pretty pumped. Per their ‘about’ page:

What is The 5×50 Challenge?

A charity challenge encouraging people to run, walk, jog or cycle 5k every day for 50 days with the aim of changing habits for a lifetime. The challenge begins on the 9th September 2012 and finishes on the 28th October at the end of British Summer Time.

What is our goal?

This challenge started with a vision to make sport part of everyone’s daily life. Not everyone will run a marathon, however anyone can complete the 5×50 challenge and experience the physical and psychological benefits that come from taking part.


So that’s the basic teaser. I will be mentioning more about is as we get closer, and I would really like it if we could get a bunch of us from the States to help out with this cause. The registration starts at around $7 US. Not bad, really! Ok, more about this later. Feel free to read ahead by visiting the 5x50Challenge web site.

Friday, July 6, 2012

What will it take?

Today I had to train a new nurse from our psych unit. When I got there, one of the unit administrators pulled me aside and said, “have you heard about MMMM?”

“No, what happened?”, came my confused reply.

“He was working at NNNNN last night and dropped dead from a heart attack. He was like 44 or something. I just can’t believe or understand it.”

I offered the appropriate responses then moved on to gather my student. I had noticed that the mood on the floor where he had worked was a little down from the typical morning hustle and bustle, but didn’t really think anything of it until I heard the news. After the training session I learned that the decedent wasn’t 44. He was 42.

What struck me the most was the earlier comment of “I just can’t believe or understand it.” Why? I don’t mean to sound heartless here. I really don’t. I didn’t know him well, so I don’t know if he had a family. I’m 43, I have a family, to include the one I grew up with. I imagine that he did, too, and that their loss last night will be hard for them to deal with and process over the coming weeks, months, and perhaps years. My heart goes out to them.


The dude was pushing 400 pounds. This is NOT him, but I googled “400 pound man” and this is the first image listed.(clicking the picture may or may not take you to his blog.) ------->>

Around 18 months or so ago, we lost another relatively young, obese nurse. He was probably closer to 450. The reaction by many coworkers was the same bewilderment and disbelief expressed to me today; and this is from healthcare workers. They were surprised by the deaths.

If seeing two of their own drop dead due to complications of obesity doesn’t scare the bejeezus out of them (and by them I mean the others who are overweight and obese), what WILL it take???

I am not without my own demons to fight and my own changes to make. More on that in a future post. But seriously. Take a look at where you are now. Is it where you want to be? Are you in the physical shape that you want to be in? If not, why not? What is standing in your way?

What will it take for YOU to get moving in the right direction?